Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Indie Film Making

I asked director John Botelho to give us some background on filming the trailer, Into the Basement. This short clip serves two purposes; it's a book trailer and we have been using it to generate interest in turning Basement into a movie. We are still working the movie project; but it's a tough road. I've included a link at the bottom to the trailer on Youtube. 

Here's what John Botelho had to say... 

We began scripting the Into the Basement trailer in early January of 2008. Our initial vision for this trailer was to have Actress Megan Lynn strapped naked to a table while the camera does a 360 degree dolly around her. The set was suppose to be a basement and the shot was going to be in color with a strong concentration in blue (we were going to use a blue lens filter to shoot it). Our lead Killer was going to be in some sort of surgical outfit and the audience was only going to see the back of him.

The finished product was much different than this....

We shot the trailer on a Monday in mid February of 2008. Since we did not have a secured basement for our set (basements are very rare in Texas), we decided to shoot it in a tool shed. It was the coldest day of 2008 (about 10 degrees) and we relied on the set lights to keep poor nude Megan Lynn warm. The shed was only about 5 foot by 8 foot, so our 360 dolly was out of the question. I decided to have the Production Assistants tie Megan to a flimsy poster board on the wall, while the camera concentrated on different angles and close-ups of her body.

To set the tone for the shot we took a busted lamp (it was only an electric wire and outlet), hung it from the ceiling and swung it. The actual moving light you see on Megan's body are high powered flashlights that were moved by Production Assistants. 

This piece was shot using a Cannon XL1. I decided not to use the blue filter because it seemed to blur the shots in low light. Besides, I had already begun thinking black and white for this trailer.

The Killer in the film was played by Production Assistant Chris Frausto. I chose him because he looked the part and showed up on time for the shoot. It's all about being at the right place at the right time in this business. 

When I edited the Into the Basement trailer, I used IMovie on a Mac. I filtered the shots with black and white and old style film effects to give it a creepy feel. The sounds you hear are all from the IMovie data base. I liked the backwards reel to reel sound because it kind of felt like someone scratching a blackboard. And the music seemed appropriate with the subject matter. 

Why was the last scene in color? My first two horror film were both shot in black and white, and I knew that anyone who knew my work would immediately think that I was going to shoot Into the Basement in B&W. I put the last scene in color to say to those folks: "HA!!! I fooled you. I am going to shoot this film in color." Besides, it gives a cool effect to the short piece. 

YES!!! THERE WAS AN ADULT VERSION TO THIS TRAILER!!!  I know many of you have heard this.... And yes it is true. The original version of the Into the Basement trailer had a fully framed close up of Actress Megan Lynn's shaved vagina. Unfortunately after showing this version to a handful of friends, I decided to cut the shot out of the trailer. I felt it was just too much. The only thing left of the shot in the final trailer is a quick glimpse of Megan's hip turning sideways. 

Oh... And yes... We still have the cut footage somewhere in the vaults of Triad Pictures.

Watch the Trailer:

Get the ebook $0.99 on Amazon:

-J.L. Botelho
July 5th, 2011 

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